Student Centric Professional Development
For my Community Engagement Project I decided to focus on doing a conference submission that showed how we revamped our professional development due to both the pandemic and our experience working with our colleagues to develop a fully online version of a face-to-face graduate program. A lot of what we learned by working through that process and from when we pivoted to emergency remote teaching, impacted the way our fall/winter professional development turned out.
We decided to create a Winter Academy – kind of like a Learning Lab, where there would be opportunities for participants to work inside of an online course and experience some of the same values and course design and teaching strategies that we believed would help create an effective course considering the circumstances.
I thought this experience would work well and initially submitted a version of what I am sharing in this post to an international conference. It wasn’t accepted due to fierce competition, so with encouragement from my instructor and colleagues in ETM, decided to instead focus on a local conference. Unfortunately, this conference will not be taking place until fall 2022, so I’m not able to submit my work yet. That said, I still would like to share my presentation here.
ETM Winter Academy 2020 – ETM (spu.edu)
This blog post contains a more detailed explanation of how the winter academy was set up to run and is the link we used for our badges, so if someone wants to see what the badge represents, they will be taken to this page.
ETM Winter Academy 2020 Conversations Recap – ETM (spu.edu)
This post is a summary of some of the conversations and activity we saw in the Winter Academy. We felt that so much had happened that it would be a waste not to share it with at minimum, the SPU community.
Podcast: Partnership and Growth in Remote Delivery – ETM (spu.edu)
From the Winter Academy also came forth an idea to capture faculty experiences and attitudes when working with ETM. The participants in the podcast shared on topics related to teaching online for the first time due to the pandemic, to how they’ve received help and support through ETM and why they would encourage others to work with our team.
Reflections on my Workshop
My current presentation is 20 minutes, I think that’s actually an appropriate amount of content. There is some interactivity to help extend the length of the presentation as well as time for questions and answers (Q&A), but I also intended to do a demo of the course content too – which would also add another 5-10 minutes to the presentation. Overall, I think I would strive to keep the presentation to a 40-45 minute maximum with 15 minutes for Q&A time.
Since part of my presentation is about the need to rethink presentation to make them more interactive and model what we would like our instructors to do, It’s my hope that a session of that length could also serve as an exemplar for our faculty to show some active learning strategies – like having participants submit responses through PollEverywhere or on a Jamboard.
Regarding how I chose which content to include, there was actually some tension in sharing research, but also sharing about our experience and what worked well for us, so in some ways, I feel like I’ve struggled to find a balance between the two. My initial idea was entirely focused on here’s what we did and it worked really well in our situation and for our community.
I think my presentation work well for those in similar roles to mine, who work with instructors and staff too and provide professional development. Teaching and learning happens in many areas on campus and from many different offices and I think all of us could benefit from having workshops and other professional development sessions that incorporated the experiences that our students receive in the classroom. I would say we all benefit by being in a community and being connected and by being intentional, we can better ensure that’s happening consistently for all members of the campus.
Content pages in modules were designed to provide information in a variety of mediums, we used icons and images to reinforce main topics and added videos where appropriate of us talking and sharing about the topic at hand.
We also tried to use a personable tone and writing style even though four different people were writing course content. I think there will be instances where it’s clear it’s a team effort, but overall, we tried to be consistent as a team so we could convey our team values through our writing. We also used a baking theme to help reinforce the course design process and to make it a little more “fun” for instructors as they navigated the course.
Activities were also designed to be as clear as possible, we used bullet points to highlight and summarize important sections and made sure to bold important or helpful information. Some activities allowed instructors to interact with each other and share ideas while others encouraged more interaction with staff in ETM, much like a teacher and student would interact.
Modules were designed to be about 40 minutes to an hour of content and created module goals which helped us refine and cut extra content.
Mini topics are explicitly designed to be no more than 5 – 10 minutes most of content with a short activity to help reinforce an important skill. Activities were designed around the skills need to make courses more accessible, coherent course design, and inclusivity.
We decided to issue badges for our four main modules and the 13 bite-sized modules in our course. Badges could be earned by demonstrating skills like document structure, rubric or module design, or by sharing strategies they use to incorporate instructor presence or interaction design into their courses.
ETM has also issued badges for other activities in Canvas and our badges can be viewed on our Badgr Profile.